In a year of political turmoil on the national level, readers came to 5280 not only to explore the issues that affect us locally, but also to lose themselves in topics that are, well, a little more fun. Beyond our annual Best Restaurants and Top of the Town features, which always attract the masses, this year’s most-read list had a little bit of everything—real estate, environment, education, and even some celebrity gossip—as well as stories you can’t find anywhere else.

Read on to get just a small taste of the pieces that resonated with 5280 readers in 2017.

Denver’s 25 Best Restaurants 2017

Denise Mickelsen | October 2017

Who’s on the list, and who’s off? That is the question. Here’s a fresh look at the spots—some old, many new—that take excellent care of their guests and consistently bring exception flavor to the table.

Denver Real Estate
Photo by Alex Benison / Getty Images

Everything You Know About Denver’s Real Estate Market Is Wrong

Natasha Gardner | May 2017

Well, maybe not everything. But thanks to scant housing inventory, massive population growth, and still-low interest rates, buying or selling a home in—or even near—the Mile High City means stepping into a fierce game with ever-changing rules. Here’s how to play the market right now.

Diane France
Diane France, NecroSearch’s president, at her office in Fort Collins. Photo by Morgan Rachel Levy.

Lost and Found

Robert Sanchez | November 2017
Several long-serving members of NecroSearch, the world’s preeminent group for locating and retrieving missing bodies, are nearing retirement age. What will happen to the Colorado-based volunteer organization once they’re gone?

Ophelia's Electric Soapbox
The outside of Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, which was voted “Music Venue That Isn’t Red Rocks” in Top of the Town 2017. Image courtesy of
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox

Top of the Town 2017

Spencer Campbell | July 2017

Intimidated by all the new hot spots popping up around the city? We’ve got you covered. Our annual list of the best places to eat, drink, take in a show, work out, relax, and more (150 winners this year!) will ensure you never have to settle for the same ole thing.

This Colorado program is creating new opportunities, and mindsets. Illustration by Walter Vasconcelos

New School

Kasey Cordell | September 2017

Colorado is launching a first-in-the-country apprenticeship program that’s designed to let students earn it all: a diploma, a degree, and a middle-class wage. The best part? It’s free.

Cover photo by Nicole Gerulat

Ben Higgins Talks About His Home Post-Split

Jessica LaRusso | May 26, 2017
Almost two weeks after The Bachelor star and his fiancée, Lauren Bushnell, announced their breakup, 5280 Home checked in with Higgins about how he—and his home—are faring.

Adele Arakawa rolls out of her career as a local broadcaster and into… car racing? Photo by Matt Nager.

Longtime Local News Anchor Signing Off At Last

Spencer Campbell | June 2017

Adele Arakawa never planned on staying in Denver this long, but after 24 years at 9News, it’s time for the popular broadcaster to roll on.

classic denver
Denver’s 136-year-old Union Station building is the heart of downtown. Photo by Sarah Boyum.

Classic Denver

5280 Staff | April 19, 2017
Sure, you’ve tried all the hot new places. But what about the old? Here, our list of the restaurants, landmarks, museums, events, and more that make Denver special.

Ashley Hausman Vaughters is Colorado’s first Master of Wine. Photo by Courtney Killian

Colorado’s New Master of Wine

Denise Mickelsen | September 2017
Ashley Hausman Vaughters earned the impressive credential after almost a decade of study and drinking more bottles than she can count.

Rob Katz, this past November in Boulder, not far from Vail Resorts’ Broomfield headquarters.
—Photo by Benjamin Rasmussen

Rob Katz Is the Most Powerful Man in the Ski Industry

Rachel Walker | January 2017
Since becoming the CEO of Vail Resorts in 2006, Katz has led the company in the acquisition of nine properties, discounted the cost of season passes, and persuaded his customers to market the brand. What does he have planned next? 

Art is everywhere in the River North neighborhood. Courtesy of RiNo Art District

5280 Neighborhood Guide to RiNo

Daliah Singer | April 19, 2017 

There’s always something new to discover in Denver’s hippest ‘hood.

Michael Byers
Illustration by Michael Byers

Are We Loving Colorado’s Wild Places to Death?

Lindsey Koehler | October 2017

If Coloradans want to continue to play in unadulterated wildlands, they’re going to have to learn to better care for them. We show you how.

Erin Skarda
Erin Skarda
Erin is a Denver-based writer and the former digital editor for 5280.